Finn and Jake return from an outing at the swimming hole to find that Finn’s hat has gained sentience. Finn decides to take the hat creature, dubbed Little Dude, back home and keep it as a pet. Finn quickly learns that Little Dude can be a nuisance to everything around it, in time for an ancient Magi of Life Giving to explain that Finn’s hat, along with any object he brings to life, is powerful, dangerous, and evil. In order to stop Little Dude from causing mayhem, Finn tries to help the Magi keep his powers in check.
I really love it when Adventure Time builds upon its own mythos, so I was pleasantly surprised to see this episode flesh out the out-of-place ending of “Mystery Dungeon” by giving a character and backstory to the wizard that seemed like a strange afterthought in the previous episode. Getting to hear Dana Snyder work his voice acting magic as the wizard was also a great surprise. While the episode starts out in cliché “hero finds a pet they can’t handle” territory that was already covered in a more imaginative way with “The Jiggler,” the Magi’s presence adds an interesting take to the episode and makes the second half more interesting and engaging than the first.
One thing about this episode I’m pretty excited about is Michael DeForge’s debut as a storyboarder. While I wish his interesting, abstract, angular designs would appear more often than in small touches here or there, he has a really simple and cute take on the expressions of the characters. I really hope the writers let him work outside of the design team and let him write more episodes in the future. “Little Dude” is an episode that only comes alive in the second half, but there’s a lot of potential characters and artistic talent being displayed here that I hope we see again.